Boyd Valley Lake is a small wild camping site with 11 pitches on Golden Valley Lane, near Bitton. We were looking for a place to pitch our tent for a night during the Bristol Balloon Fiesta and it caught my eye because we used to live on this lane a few hundred yards along. It is a family run, family friendly camp site with a fishing lake attracting wild life right next to it. We didn’t come to fish, but the walk around the lake at sunset was beautiful and others who did come to fish were having a wonderful time.
Close to nature
Boyd Valley Lake’s camping field is just off a quiet lane and once we pitched our tent and sat down to watch the hot air balloons against the backdrop of the sunset, it felt like the perfect place to be. It was quiet, but friendly and talking to the owner revealed that the fishing lake had encouraged wildlife to the site, with barn owls nesting close-by and kingfishers spotted on the lake.
We love getting away to somewhere remote enough so that we can enjoy nature, but also enjoy access to amenities and facilities nearby. Boyd Valley provided both – a rural location near two beautiful cities.
Nestled in a valley between Bristol and Bath
The location is absolutely perfect for access to both Bristol and Bath. It is far enough outside of city limits to feel like countryside, but close enough that a 20 minute road trip took us to either city. It is also a short walk from the public transport routes that run along the A431 as well as nearby pubs. It is a great area for cycling as well.
About Boyd Valley Lake and its owners
Boyd Valley Lake opened its camping site in August 2015 with 11 pitches. The owners are environmentally conscious, provide recycling facilities on-site and are enthusiastic about contributing to the local natural environment.
Per night: £7-11 per pitch for up to 4 adults (£7 for pitch +2 with an additional £2 per person adult or child per night).
Retailer: Pitch-up: Boyd Valley Lake
Included in the price
Non-electric grass tent/touring pitch (Avg 10.0m x 8.0m/32.8ft x 26.2ft)
2 Adults staying
Up to 2 dogs included in the price
Access to Toilet block (2x Portaloo Toilets) and drinkable water (outdoor cold tap on-site)
One car parking space next to tent
£2-£3.50 per person per night for a mid-August (or any other time) stay is good value for money. Wild camping sites in England are priced around £8-15 per pitch per night and Boyd Valley Lake is well priced and falls within this price bracket.
Be aware that the reason wild camping sites are cheaper is because the facilities on-site is restricted, at best, to a portable toilet and cold water – not necessarily drinkable.
Wild camping is generally an eco-friendly practice. The pitch used is small, grassed and recycling facilities are provided on-site. There is no electricity on-site and with facilities within walking or cycling distance with local public transport links, it is accessible to access without a car or whilst there, walk and cycle.
Travel season: We stayed for 1 night in summer.
Location: Golden Valley Lane, nr Bitton
Booking: On-line booking available via pitchup.com
Check-in Time: 12:30 p.m. – 09:30 p.m. (21:30)
Check-out Time: 11:30 a.m.
Temperature control: No heating or air-conditioning
Camping or touring pitches only.
Sleep quality will depend on what campers bring along. We slept well in our tent. The rural location meant it was dark and there were no bright lights on-site to keep anyone awake. It is a quiet camp site, which somewhat depends on other campers, but with only 11 pitches and attentive owners that were frequently on-site to offer guidance and assistance, excessive noise should not be an issue that arises.
Recommend packing: A decent tent, mattress, pillow and sleeping bag. Also, a camping lantern or LED light for night trips to the bathroom. A sleep mask in summer if going to bed before dark.
There are no shower facilities or hot water on-site. There are 2 portable toilets and a cold water tap. Toilet roll and alcohol hand gel was provided in the toilets.
Recommend packing: Toilet roll, always bring your own when camping, hand sanitizer, soap and other personal toiletries. Small towel. A pool bag with swimsuits and towels – there is a swimming pool with a view over the valley at Aspects Leisure Centre which also provide basic shower facilities – a great way to get a swim and hot shower.
There is no cooking facilities on-site. Barbecues are allowed, but there is no dedicated area, fire pit or hard surface provided. There is no electricity on-site. For those who do not want to cook, there are plenty of local pubs within walking and cycling distance and a short drive away there are many more restaurants as well as fast-food outlets. Supermarkets are a 15-20 minute drive away and there is a local farm shop (Manor Farm) just outside Upton Cheyney open over weekends.
Recommend packing: A travel kitchen kit, cooler picnic bag for stocking up or a Mealkit 2.0 (or equivalent) for serving up a picnic.
Included in the price
There is no on-site additional facilities included in the price.
A permit can be purchased for fishing in the lake.
Connectivity: We had reliable, good mobile data connections, no Wifi available unless you bring your own.
Electric: No electricity.
Boyd Valley Lake is a great camping spot for anyone looking for a country getaway near many local attractions and amenities. It is good value for money and an excellent budget choice for affordable overnight accommodation. It is a family friendly camping site, but due to its small size, adult only parties should feel welcome too without being overwhelmed by mobs of children running around. Ideally situated for both Bath and Bristol attractions, it is an excellent overnight or weekend base for small parties who own a tent and a few sleeping bags.
Ease of use
The site is easy to book on-line, easy to find and the owners were on-hand regularly to solve any problems or answer any questions that may arise. Pull-up, pick a spot, pitch your tent and then go for a relaxing walk around the fishing lake or to the local pub for a cooked meal.
Basic camping kit, including a tent and mattresses/mats, sleeping bags and pillows. For longer stays, a more comprehensive kit will be required but for a night or two when not planning to cook, the basics should be more than adequate.
It is accessible to anyone with a moderate – severe visual impairment, including the blind and those who experience visual symptoms, like photophobia (light sensitivity), eye strain or colour blindness. On-line booking via pitchup can be done electronically. It is accessible via public transport for those unable to drive, it is clearly signposted and smartphone directions will lead users to the right place. Once on-site, campers with a visual impairment set-up for camping should be able to find their own way around.
It is accessible to anyone with a moderate – severe hearing impairment, including the deaf and those who experience auditory symptoms, like tinnitus or hyperacusis (sound sensitivity). All information is provided via pitch-up and everything on-site is clearly labelled with writing and icons.
It is accessible to anyone with a mild – moderate upper body impairment and those who experience symptoms that affect their hands, wrists and shoulders, like a tremor, fatigue, reduced dexterity or precision as long as they bring their own accessible camping equipment.
The portable toilets have a standard handle and flush and the tap is standard. Access to the site is via a gate that is open during the day but has to be opened by campers after dark or for early morning departures.
Movement and mobility
It is accessible to anyone with a mild – moderate mobility impairment, including those who experience physical symptoms, like severe fatigue or chronic pain. Pitches are available right next to the toilet facilities, the site is flat and there is one step to enter the portable toilet. The site is accessible for wheelchair users with some work – it is level but a grass surface. The toilets are not wheelchair accessible with a step to enter.
Assistance dogs are welcome and stay free of charge.
Motion sickness and balance disorders
It is accessible to anyone who experiences a motion sickness or dizzy spells. There are no common triggers on-site.
It is accessible to anyone with a mild – moderate cognitive impairment, including those with a learning disability like dyslexia and those who experience cognitive symptoms, like problems with memory, concentration, planning and organization. It is easy to book a stay, site facilities are clear and visible and the owners are regularly on-site to answer any queries.
Some social interaction is required. The owners do their best to meet all campers at least once and basic camp site friendliness is a given with other campers saying hello as they pass, but there is no need for extensive social interaction and all transactions can be done electronically. There is no requirement for social interaction for booking, paying or accessing the facilities.
It is a grass pitch in a natural environment and those with hayfever, particularly related to grass pollen, obviously may experience some symptoms. The portable toilets on-site are chemical, but there is no direct contact with any chemicals or food allergens.
Trigger warnings and age ratings
We are unaware of any triggers and its is a camp site suitable for all.
Boyd Valley Lake Camp Site is excellent for wild camping and situated between Bristol and Bath, the location is ideal when planning a visit to either or both cities. The facilities are clean, well maintained and the owners are enthusiastic, knowledgeable about the local area and available without being intrusive. We had a wonderful overnight stay and a memorable evening on-site watching hot air balloons flying over at sunset from our pitch. Highly recommend.
This travel review is based on a one night stay in our own tent during August 2015. First published on 17 August 2015.